Salt Life

by | Feb 13, 2022 | What's Happening

While the folks back home in Norway and Sweden have been battling heavy snow falls, storms and cold temperatures we’re enjoying our NZ summer. At times we’ve had around 30 degrees which really is a bit too hot, especially for those of us who have been working a lot of the time.

Shortly after new year I put my Fyran aluminium boat for sale on Trade Me and a couple of days later it was sold. Fyran has been a well established brand in NZ since the year I was born (1969). We bought the boat in 2000 from someone who used it out of Opua in the Bay of Islands. We lived in Taurikura at Whangarei Heads at the time and had it parked on the trailer in the double garage underneath the house. It was so handy back then, having a quick look at the sea outside the window, deciding the conditions were good and then zoom down on the beach and launch it from there.    First it had an old Evinrude outboard on the back but ten years ago I replaced that with a brand new Yamaha. Mainly used for fishing the Whangarei Harbour entrance and coast line as well as for scallop diving in the harbour but we also dragged it up north for holidays a few times. It hadn’t been on the water since December 2020 and with Aidan’s boat arrived now was the right time to sell. It went back to a buyer in the Bay of Islands, again to be used out of Opua.

On the back of Aidan’s boat he has a four stroke Mercury and it continues to be put to good use. Also just after new year we went out with our friends Mark & Dylan on their boat to the Hen & Chicken islands. Aidan and Dylan have done plenty of diving together so having picked a beautiful day that’s what was on the program. Mark and I had also brought dive gear, however we ended up just fishing while the teenagers were diving.

(Hover with the cursor over the pictures below for descriptions. The “sexy fins” Aidan is putting on in the right hand picture is his new $500 Ruku fins with some mermaid zombie motif. I’m sure we’ll see more of those in the times to come.)

Arriving at the first bay the boys wanted to dive at the Chicks, we dropped them in and went towards some rocks to anchor up. A super yacht like vessel was anchored in the bay with an older and a younger guy onboard. The older guy called out to us to warn about them having seen a large shark a few minutes earlier. We know there are sharks around the Chicks and that one would easily already have moved on, so it kind of seemed pointless to put out any kind of warning to the boys, already out of reach for us to call out to them. While we were waiting for them to return to the boat we started fishing. There was a school of trevally and I started catching several while Mark caught some good snapper by stray lining behind the boat. When the boys returned to the boat Aidan had shot a nice John Dory and also shot a big blue maomao almost under the boat.

We shifted to another spot that was a bit more open and exposed where Dylan and Aidan again jumped in, to look for crayfish and any other fish like snapper and boarfish (they have both at separate times shot the highly sought after boarfish at the Chicks). After a while Aidan came back in the boat while Dylan was further out ahead when he suddenly started waving to us. Aidan pulled the anchor and we drove over to check on Dylan. He had shot a kingfish but the spear was not holding well. He asked for Aidan to get back in and put a second spear in the fish. Dylan had managed to steer the fish away from reef and out into open water (depth of 50 metres) but he didn’t dare to put any more pressure on it to get it to the surface. So Aidan got his mask, gloves, fins, spear and float line on and in the water again. He managed to swim down to where the fish was and put a solid second spear into it. As they were coming back into the boat a bronze whaler shark came swimming under the boat.

The two photos below show Dylan’s float boat with the Hen Island in the background (left) and Dylan and Aidan putting their heads together before Aidan swims down to place the second shot.

Pictured above a smoked snapper salad with peaches, lettuce, tomatoes and baby new potatoes. A scallop salad as a starter with half dozen scallops and croutons. And kingfish in a saffron beurre blanc sauce. Fresh seafood dished up in a variety of styles is hard to beat! 

The week of January 17th both Aidan and I had off work so the whole family went up to Coopers Beach in Doubtless Bay, with Aidan’s boat in tow. Hayley’s parents also came which meant grandma Briar would come out fishing with us. Aidan and her had been out for an evening fish in the upper Whangarei harbour just a couple of days earlier. She loves fishing and has quite the stamina for an 81 year old to be out fishing for hours. 

We have fished the area a couple of times before with my old boat but this time we covered a bit of distance, up along the coast then out to Albert Reef out in the middle of Doubtless Bay then back up along the coast up and around Berghan Point. A fantastic morning on the water, we probably covered some 20km and caught several good snapper.  Part of the catch in the chillybin pictured below. 

Pictured above is the moonlight shining in at Coopers Beach at 4.30 in the morning, followed by out on the boat at first light looking towards Karikari Peninsula. On the top right is Berghan Point. Nice and calm on this side, quite choppy on the other side. Pictured below is Aidan and his grandma.

Finally also a few words on our 10 months young setter Bentley who is developing into a nice dog. He can certainly move both on land and in water and we’ll soon enough see how sharp he’ll be in the field. I’ve just started his retrieving training, which will all be in place by the time his first hunting season comes around in May. Exciting times ahead!

I’ve also posted one more translation of part of an article I did in the Norwegian magazine FUGLEHUNDEN in 1999, from a visit/interview with Owen Dawson in Victoria, December 1998. See Australian Pointer Heritage. I have also written about the very fascinating Australian seadragons, experienced on the same trip to Victoria, and a petition to save their habitat, see Seadragons.
Link to both pages also on the Links page.

Finn’s idea of water fun, here on the sea biscuit in the Taurikura/McKenzie/Urquharts Bay area.